Has it been days, weeks, or months in your new gig, you feel it in your bones: This place isn’t right. But you went through a long interview process, accepted the job offer and gave notice to your previous employer, that’s a big knot to untangle.

If you’re unsure what to do next, it’s because according to a 2022 Muse survey, you’re in a form of shock. It’s called Shift Shock- That feeling when you realize your new job isn’t at all what you expected.

Don’t beat yourself up, because it’s quite common: 72% of survey respondents said they’ve experienced Shift shock at some point in their career.

And you do have options. You can decide the issues are insurmountable and just leave. With some further examination, they may also be fixable.

Things to think about

Pinpoint the problem

When one of my coaching clients tells me that they hate their new job, I ask what, specifically, they hate about it. After all, when you start any new role, you tend to feel disengaged, simply because everything’s new.  You’re used to feeling competent, and now you don’t. This sense of discomfort might feel like failure- and that might be the source of your less-than-stellar feelings about your new gig. But it’s also a sign that things will improve as you adjust.

Remember, jobs- and the success that comes with them require time, practice and learning. On the other hand, it could also be that the work wasn’t what was promised, your manager is unapproachable or the company culture is coming from left field, or some combination of the three. In the same 2022 Muse survey 29% of workers said their Shift Shock was due to both their job and their new employer. Or maybe the job is exactly as advertised, but it turns out it just isn’t for you. These are things that might not get better over time.

Maybe the problem isn’t about the change or position but something more logistical. Are your hours different? Is your commute much longer? Do you have different or fewer options for remote work? Give it some serious thought.

It’s easy to focus on the negatives when you’re struggling, but don’t forget to look at what is working about your new job. Maybe there’s lots of potential for advancement. There might be great mentors on your team to learn from. Perhaps you really enjoy the work you’re doing now or you enjoy the vibe of the team.

After you assess what’s working and what’s not, consider if the benefits outweigh the drawbacks. If they do, it doesn’t mean you need to grin and bear the parts of the jobs you dislike; it will just help you decide if the situation is worth trying to salvage.

Once you’re clear on what needs to change and what doesn’t, your next steps will become more obvious.

Asking for help

It’s not always easy to say you need help, especially in a new job where you want to be seen as a competent high performer. But by asking for what you need, you may be able to change the course of your situation. Set up a one on one meeting with your boss and go in with a clearly laid- out plan of what you’d like to cover,  including the issues you’re facing and possible solutions.

Give yourself a deadline

Hopefully you have established that you need time to get used to your new job and that there are steps you can take to try and further improve the situation.

Next, you need to figure out how long you want this trial period to last. Create a timeline for when you’ll revisit your stay-or-go decision and during that period, commit to learning the job and work processes.

Hire a coach to talk over all of your concerns with. A good coach will keep you on track.

If, at the end of your trial period, nothing’s better and you don’t believe you’re moving forward, consider putting your termination plan into place.

If you leave, remember that your next job search is a two-way street. Sure, that company is looking for talent. But you need to look for the place that’s right for you.



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